Players

Flugel Horn Cat Johnston

Cat started playing music age 7 on trumpet at South East Derbyshire Music Centre under Kevin Holdgate, and earned grade 8 distinction aged 13. She then went on to study at the Junior Birmingham Conservatoire under Alan Thomas, and attained her ATCL & LTCL Trumpet diplomas by the age of 18. Locally, she won the Derby Rotary young musician of the year award in 2008, and was Derby Arts Brass Open Champion 3 times with distinction.

She studied at The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) under Murray Grieg and immersed herself into various styles of music and ensemble to gain experience in all types of playing. These included the RNCM Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Big Band, Session Orchestra and Brass Band. She graduated with a Bmus Honors Degree in July 2017.

During her degree, she travelled to the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, studying with Jonas Haltia, Tine Thing Helseth, and Anthony Plog and competed in the National Championships in Trondheim with 'Vestre Aker Musikkorps’.  Other global travels with different ensembles have seen her perform in Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland (with The National Youth Wind band of Great Britain), Japan (with the Derbyshire City and County Youth Wind Band) and the USA (Atlanta and New York with HotHouse Screaming Kicks Bigband.)

As well as playing Flugel with Derwent, she is a member of the ‘Derventio Brass Ensemble’ on trumpet, and enjoys playing in other ensembles such as Big Bands, musical theatre pit bands, and Classical Orchestras across the East Midlands.

Solo Horn Graham Johnson

Graham is the son of the late Eric Johnson (former solo euphonium and President of Derwent Brass) so it goes without saying that he has grown up totally immersed in brass music. Over the years he has played for the Newhall Band, Ibstock Building Products, Gresley Old Hall, the Ind Coope Burton Brewery Brass and Sovereign Brass before joining Derwent Brass. Originally a cornet, trumpet and flugel player, Graham moved onto Solo Horn in Derwent Brass during 2005.

There have been too many experiences and events that Graham has enjoyed to list, but one or two particular highlights include winning the 2nd section national finals in London (1991) and going on to win the Championship section of the Midlands Area contest. He also took part in the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall in 1992.

1st Horn Steve Thompson

Steve is no stranger to brass banding and is well known as a player especially in the Midlands area. Steve has been a member of a number of bands including the well known Ransome Brass Band (where he enjoyed a very successful period as Band Manager), the Carlton Main Frickley Band and the Newstead Brass Band.

As an accomplished player he has performed at all the major brass band competitions in the UK, including some notable podium finishes. Steve has also helped out several bands and ensembles at all levels, including the famous Black Dyke band and numerous international tours with the well known Desford Colliery band.

2nd Horn Abbey Watson

Abbey began playing the tenor horn aged just 7 with the Tutbury Wind Band, before going on to join various local brass bands. She then decided to pick up a second instrument, playing Cornet in brass bands and then both Trumpet and Flugel Horn with the De Ferrers Jazz Band.

She has performed for various musicals and recorded albums with 'The Open Road' as well as performing across the country, touring Scotland and Ireland, and performing in the Isle of Wight Festival. As a brass band player she has performed at many concerts and competed in many contests, including as a guest player for Derwent Brass at the likes of the British Open Spring Festival.

Abbey achieved Grade 8 Tenor Horn whilst studying A-Level Music, and after college auditioned for the Royal Corps of Army Music, passing all stages and being accepted, but then deciding on a career change into dentistry where she is now a head dental nurse.

Having performed with the band many times in the past, we were delighted to welcome Abbey into the tenor horn section in 2021, joining from the Gresley Colliery Brass Band.

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